ALUMKNIGHTS: On to the next chapter

ALUMKNIGHTS%3A+On+to+the+next+chapter

I have something in common with all who will be graduating in a week and a half. We are closing a chapter of our time together at Gannon University.
While you walk across the stage to accept your diploma, completing your tenure at Gannon, I will be completing my two-year term as president of the Gannon University Alumni Association and six years as a member of the National Alumni Board.
I graduated from Gannon eight years ago and many things have changed in that time — personally, professionally and globally. But one thing remains the same. I’m more in love with Gannon as an institution, as a place, and as a people than when I began.
I will remain involved. You’ll see me at alumni events in Pittsburgh and at homecoming festivities on campus.
I will continue supporting the Annual Fund for Academic Excellence and student scholarships, including the Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship, because I was fortunate enough to receive scholarship support as a student and it’s time that I pay it forward.
We’re lucky to be products of Gannon. Where you’re not just a number in a lecture hall, rather, your professor likely knows more about you than friends from high school.
And where the opportunities to excel as individuals far outnumber the opportunities to pass by unnoticed. Use this to your advantage. Your transition over the next few months will be difficult, but use your Gannon network to get through it.
I celebrated my birthday over the weekend and was surrounded by my closest friends and family – the majority of whom are part of my Gannon network.
Kathleen Gausman, associate vice president for Student Development, is still there when I need career advice or just a supportive voice of reason on the other end of the phone. Each time I come to campus, I am greeted by another friendly face from my past.
This is my Gannon network. Who is that for you?
I’ve heard from many people who say that there’s something special about this graduating class and I have witnessed it myself. You’re active, involved, playful and academically strong.
I hope this translates into a group of young alumni who want to get involved with our Alumni Association.
I invite you to participate in many ways – social activities, service projects and by giving time to your alma mater and the future students who will one day become your fellow alumni.
I’ll leave you with some advice that I’ve learned throughout my time at Gannon. Be humble, for there is need for more humility and more “we” than “I” in this world.
Work hard, for success is built on the foundation of determination. Respect others, because while we come from different places, practice different religions, and have different values, we are all humans who deserve civility and graciousness.
Begin the next chapter knowing that you’re a part of something bigger, the Gannon Community, and that the best wishes of your fellow alumni around the globe are with you. Until we meet again, farewell fellow Knights.

BRIAN KURTZ
class of 2008